Wednesday, January 3, 2007

St. Thomas - A Once-Flooded Ghost Town

St. Thomas was founded in 1865 by Mormon settlers, who built their homes in the bottom of the wide canyon near the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. With a railroad spur built to stop at St. Thomas, the town served not only farmers, but miners and prospectors and railroad people. After Hoover Dam was completed, the rising waters of Lake Mead forced the abandonment of the town in 1938. Now that the lake's water level has dropped so drastically, the remains of the town are easily explored.

A three-mile dirt road takes you to a parking area overlooking the town, which is virtually invisible from above due to the overgrown tamarisk and other vegetation. You hike down into the flats, and take a 2.5 mile loop trail through the brush. Small side trails take you to various ruins, and the main trail goes to some of the larger builidings.

We also took a few photos from the boat when we went fishing; the first one is of an old Model T.

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